After having completed two Contiki tours, I’ve decided to write up a post with my thoughts on Contiki in general and on the two specific tours that I’ve done in North America. There are a few different tour companies aimed at young travellers that offer tours in North America but Contiki was the one I knew most about.
This morning was our earliest start on tour – the coach was leaving at 7am this morning so that we could get to the border early. We dropped our bags at the coach at 6.30am and then nearly all of us headed over to Maccas to get a quick breakfast before we headed out.
Today was a free day in Montreal and because nothing was planned, I took the opportunity to sleep in and take my time getting ready for the day. There was an optional craft-beer tour that was happening today, but as I’m not a beer drinker, I didn’t go on it (it was about $50 for a 3 hour tour. The people that did the tour said it was really good though).
The drive from Ottawa to Montreal was a short one – only 2 hours. I fell asleep on the drive.
Our first stop in Montreal was Mont Royal – the highest peak in Montreal. Mont Royal is a beautiful park designed by the same guy who designed Central Park in New York City.
Today it was on to a new destination – Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. It was a fairly long drive to Ottawa but we broke it up with a few stops.
Our first stop was the big apple – it’s basically a store that sells everything apple. Apple pies, apple turnovers, Apple crumble, Apple donuts.. You get the idea.
This morning it was another early start for those of us that had signed up to visit the CN Tower. We started the morning with Tim Hortons for breakfast – this chain is everywhere! It’s like Starbucks in America (although they have that here too). Then we walked about 20 minutes or so to the tower. Even though it was still early, it was so humid! I was sweating by the time we got there.
This morning, those of us that has signed up had our helicopter flight over Niagra Falls. We had to be at the coach by 9 which was a bit rough after last night!
Today we were going to Canada!! We left our hotel at 8am and were on the road. Everyone was excited because our rest stop today was Walmart. I know, it seems crazy to get excited about Walmart, but when you are from NZ or Australia, you hear about Walmart and you just have to see it.
Less than 4 weeks to go!
Today I picked up our Contiki documents which has the details of our Optionals and the hotels we’ll be staying at. I’ve looked the hotels up on Tripadvisor which may not have been the best idea because none of them have very good reviews!! But then, the hotels we stayed at on my last Contiki weren’t that bad so I’m hoping it will be the same this time. Most of the hotels we only stay at for one night anyway so it will be all right.
With my next trip coming up in less than 3 months, I’ve been starting to look at the cities we are visiting and what we can do on days when we have free time. We only have such a short amount of time in each place (sometimes not even a full day) so it’s hard to know how much we’ll actually be able to see.
First up is New York, where I have been before. We only have two days in New York before our Contiki commences. We arrive at 6.30am so much of the first day will be taken up with checking in to our hotel (Fairfield Inn & Suites Manhattan/Chelsea) and catching up on sleep after around 18 hours of travelling.